The 41-year-old has publicly conceded that he’s winding down his in-ring career – but he still features heavily on-screen and will wrestle at this Sunday’s Hell in a Cell pay per view against Randy Orton.
It’s the latest of many high-profile bouts for Hardy who has featured so memorably for WWE over the last two decades – notably alongside his brother Matt in the Hardy Boyz tag team.
But while he has held every major WWE title and is responsible for some of the company’s most daredevil moments, it all started differently for Jeff, as he recalled in an exclusive interview with The Independent this week.
Hardy was quizzed about his early days in the squared circle that involved he and Matt working as enhancement talent – wrestlers whose sole purpose was to lose to more established grapplers – in the 1990s.
They were days he recalled with surprising warmth, saying: “I always knew, back in the day when we were the nobodies and spent four years wrestling the superstars, I felt so confident in what I could do in the ring.
“I just felt that I was going to get beaten up as best as I can and make somebody remember me!
“I can’t quite explain it but I always knew that I would make it and have a career in WWE, so we just believed in ourselves and our work, and studied our craft like nobody’s business.
“It’s cool to look back on all the things we’ve done and how long we’ve been here – especially during the Attitude Era and all that. The fact we’re still around is pretty cool.”
Many a Premier League star can count on a career in the media once their playing days come to an end and so, too, wrestlers usually transition into backstage roles as producers or the like once they stop featuring between the ropes.
Unsurprisingly, one of WWE’s most unorthodox and unique talents doesn’t see himself taking the traditional route to a new career once he hangs up the ring gear for good.
“Right now, I don’t see myself doing that at all,” added Hardy, when discussing the possibility of a training role in WWE.
“That’s totally Matt and he is perfect for that as he has such a great mind for the business, I just have so many other interests and things that I enjoy doing besides wrestling.
“As far as my career goes after wrestling, I’m not too sure about that as I’m not too sure I could make a living off painting canvasses!
“I am sure, with the WWE Network now, that I’ll be involved in some way, shape or form but I don’t see myself as a producer or an agent.”
While the former WWE and Intercontinental champion is unsure as to what lies in wait for him in the future, he appears open to the idea of the business staying within his family.
Hardy has two daughters, and the question was posed as to whether the veteran would be willing to encourage a career in the crazy world of sports entertainment for them.
He believes the future is bright in that regard – thanks in part to the WWE Evolution event which takes place on 28th October, the first ever all-female pay-per-view.
“I truly believe that this pay per view is going to change the game,” he went on to say.
“The women are doing just as much as the men are doing these days, it is just incredible.
“Matt has the Hardy boys and I have the Hardy girls so I think in the next ten years or so we might see a women’s tag team division.
“Who knows? It would be amazing to have them hold those titles but we are heading in that direction.”
Jeff Hardy battles Randy Orton at WWE Hell in a Cell this Sunday, 16 September 2018, live on WWE Network and Sky Sports Box Office. See WWE.com for more information.
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